Having the right tools in your kit makes jobs easier and helps you do better and quicker work. But plumbers and handymen just starting in the trade may not be sure what they need. We will look at some of the most important plumbing tools and how they help make plumbing work easier and more effective.
Wrenches are essential for doing any pipework. They are used to loosen and tighten pipe connections and come in various sizes, shapes, and use cases — pipe, basin, faucet keys.
Despite the variety, the two basic wrench types are fixed and adjustable. Fixed wrenches feature a set jaw that fits onto a specific connection. These usually come in a set with a dozen wrenches in a range of metric or standard sizes.
An adjustable wrench can be calibrated to fit different pipe, nut, and bolt sizes. A good pipe wrench will help you with most of your jobs, but for some harder-to-reach jobs, you may need a basin or strap wrench.
And if you can dodge either, well, you know the rest.
Hacksaws help plumbers quickly and accurately cut through pipes and other plumbing items. They’re often overlooked when listing critical tools for plumbers, but this tool gets used on most technical visits.
Cutting is critical because it is the only way pipes can be laid and fitted within the unique and varying spaces. Since hacksaw blades are prone to breaking, be sure to keep extra blades on hand.
PVC Pipe Cutters
Pipe cutters are used to resize smaller plastic pipes and water lines. Over the years, homes across the United States replaced their metal piping with PVC and PEX, which is not prone to corrosion. Because of this transition, plastic cutters have become an essential part of a plumber’s toolbox.
To keep these tools as effective as possible, purchase ones with stainless steel blades. Stainless steel is lighter, stronger, and resistant to corrosion. You should also consistently sharpen the cutting edges to ensure that they make clean and quick cuts every time.
Most plumbers carry a small gas torch used to solder, sweat, and fix copper piping. The torch applies heat on the ends and connections of the copper piping, effectively sealing them.
For best results, invest in a plumber torch from a reputable company, like Bernzomatic or Uniweld. Not only are these safer to use, but they also give the best results. Quality torches are also more durable, ensuring that you get the most bang for your buck.
Pliers are champs adjusting and holding hex nuts on pipes and radiators. Pliers are particularly effective because they are adjustable and fit in tight spaces, which are typical in most plumbing and HVAC jobs. To get the best results from your pliers, invest in insulated pliers with a grooved handle for a more secure grip.
Beginners often use pliers in situations where they should use wrenches. This usually leads to stripping nuts and damaging pipes, so be sure to study up on when to use them.
Plungers and Snakes
Skip the cheap, terracotta-colored ones when you’re shopping for a plunger. Instead, purchase a professional one that looks like a big honey dipper. These create a better seal, move more water per push, and are more effective at pushing clogs through traps.
Augers and snakes are effective and removing obstructions in larger plumbing lines. It will cost more upfront, but purchasing a motorized auger or snake will save you time and your wrist in the long run.
Nuts and bolts aside, one of the most essential plumbing tools fits right in your pocket. CompanyCam can’t help you install a wax ring, but it does save plumbers tons of time on job sites:
- Documents the work happening on job sites
- Keeps customers and crews informed on progress
- Covers butts if issues arise during a project
Get started with CompanyCam today.